Can Damages Be Recovered after an Out-Of-State Car Accident?

driving in another stateBeing involved in a car accident can be a traumatic and overwhelming experience, especially when it occurs while driving in another state. You may be unsure if your injuries and damages will be covered because you are outside your state of residence. Fortunately, there are certain actions you can take to help protect your claim for compensation.

An Appleton car accident lawyer from our firm is ready to review your situation in a free consultation. You are under no obligation to hire us after this initial meeting with a member of our legal team.

How Should I Handle an Out-of-State Car Accident?

Knowing how to proceed after a car accident is important. Regardless of what state you are in, you should always follow these standard procedures:

  • If possible, move your car to a safe place away from traffic to avoid another crash
  • Check yourself for injuries and then check on the safety of anyone else involved
  • Call the police and emergency services so that an official report is filed
  • Exchange information with all involved parties, including eyewitnesses
  • Assess and document the damage by taking pictures or video if you can
  • Reach out to an experienced lawyer before contacting the insurance company

Unlike an insurance adjuster, a lawyer will have your best interests in mind and will strongly advocate on your behalf. Seeking legal help first could help ensure that you have a chance at obtaining maximum compensation for your damages.

Will My Policy Cover Me?

Wisconsin law requires that all drivers carry liability insurance that covers up to $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in a car accident, up to $50,000 for bodily injury or death of one or more persons in a car accident, and up to $10,000 for damage of property.

However, if you are in an accident in another state, your claim will be governed by the laws of that state, and each state has different liability insurance minimums. It is important to note drivers often purchase more than the minimum limits.

If the at-fault driver is found liable for damages that exceed his or her policy limit, he or she may need to pay out of pocket for medical bills, property damage and other losses.

Other than liability insurance, all Wisconsin drivers must also carry uninsured motorist coverage. The minimum requirement is at least $25,000 per person and $50,000 per car accident. Underinsured motorist coverage is not mandatory. However, most drivers choose to increase their existing policy limits in the event that the at-fault driver has no insurance or lacks enough insurance to cover damages.

Optional types of coverage, such as MedPay, can also be purchased to better protect yourself in a car accident. MedPay would help cover any reasonable and necessary medical bills while your claim is pending.

What if the State Does Not Use an At-Fault System?

Wisconsin follows a fault-based system and like other at-fault states, the party responsible for causing the crash is also responsible for any damages. You could pursue compensation by filing a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company or filing a lawsuit in court against the at-fault party.

But what if you are injured in a car accident in a no-fault state? To the west, Wisconsin is bordered by Minnesota, which is a no-fault state. In such states, each driver must go through their own insurance company to cover their damages, regardless of who was at fault.

Filing a claim will depend on the location of the crash and the residency of the at-fault driver. Generally, the law of the state where the car accident happened most often applies. However, there may be situations where that is not the case. The damages that can be recovered will also depend on the case.

This is why it is important to work with a lawyer who will have an understanding of the many factors that come into play when dealing with an out-of-state car accident. 

Reach Out to Our Legal Team Today

Being involved in a crash in another state can be scary, but you do not have to go through the claims process on your own. Our legal team at Sigman Janssen is ready to discuss your rights and potential legal options during a complimentary, no-obligation consultation. We have assisted countless accident victims over the decades in obtaining just compensation. To date, we have recovered millions for our clients.

We charge nothing up front to retain our services and no fees while we work on your case. You only pay us if we help you obtain compensation.

Available 24/7 to take your call. (877) 888-5201.